28 April 2017

Advert: Little Florence

Little Florence


Monthly Horoscopes by Russell Grant

Russell Grant's Monthly Horoscopes May 2017


Feature: Your Health Hit

7 effective ways to get on top of emotional eating!

Easter chocolate eating season is over. Boo. As a wise foodie once said “Never eat more than you can lift “ - Miss Piggy. How many times in your life have you been Bridget Jones and literally wanted to eat your body weight in chocolate or mashed potato and wash it down with a case of wine? Personally, I’ve lost count. And this was before having kids!

I’ve had a pretty awesome life to date. And like most people, I’ve hit some gnarly speed bumps along the way which have thrown my emotional state into an anxious creme-egg eating spin. But even when things were great and life was swell, I had bouts as a closet garden variety little miss piggy. I just love food and generally love the event of eating and indulging. Who doesn’t? But when my emosh-eating habits appeared as spots on my face, dimples on my butt and kebab wrappers stuck to my cheek after a large night on the espresso martinis.. something had to change.

It’s no secret that many of us open the fridge due to feeling stressed, exhausted, anxious, lonely, upset, bored, nervous, excited.. to name a few. Let me tell you a quick story that helped steer a new course for my emotional eating habits…


27 April 2017

D is for Dan

And dust. Which has now settled.
The hilariously bizarre week, in which I saw my name in over 7 different National press articles (truth) has been, and gone.
For the first, and I imagine only time in my life – I went viral. Or should I say, Dan went viral.
I thought it best that I told the tale leading up to, behind the scenes of and the remains thereafter – about Dan, from Purple Bricks.
We needed our flat valued, for various reasons – pronto. I called upon Purple Bricks to undertake the deed, as quite simply – we fancied saving ourselves some moola by putting in a bit of the leg work behind the selling scenes.
Upon sign up, I was designated ‘Dan’ as our agent. He would be in touch within 24 hours to arrange a valuation. Splendid. He messaged via the site, to propose a few time slots available for the next day. I steadfastly batted off various appointment offerings “No, sorry I’ll be on the preschool run then” and “ah, I can’t do lunchtime unfortunately as my youngest will be napping so I won’t be able to show you the whole property” Dan finally suggested the holy grail of times – 5pm. Shitballs.
For me, that period of time is when I try to sit the girls down at the table, ready for the dinner onslaught – in amongst throwing another wash on, folding a new pile of laundry, risking disc slippage whilst I bend over to scoop up the carnage of toys dispersed in heaps around the flat and prepare the girls stuff for the next morning. So you know, a really calm inducing time of day. Equally, bed time is within sniffing distance, so all is not lost.
I explained to Dan, that I could indeed do 5pm, however – my acceptance came with a caution. His visit would most likely be hectic – I have two young children and that’s generally the most frantic time of day, when they are equally both at their peak of tiredness (fucking feral) Nevertheless, Dan’s an estate agent, a man of sales – my cagey response and warning of wild children wasn’t going to put him off the chance to value our flat – so, 5pm it was.
As 5pm reared its ugly head, the girls were seated at the table about to chow down on a culinary delight of baked beans on toast, all was well. Now, for anyone that knows our girls – they’re an exceedingly social duo. Not shy when it comes to meeting people, and certainly don’t hold back on the chit chat when presented with a new face. I’d say, they’re pretty like their mutha. So an unexpected knock on the door generated a high level of excitement. I should have known.
There was Dan. Polite Introductions were made, and I once again alerted him on the potential haphazardness of his visit.
Elsie was the first to pipe up, as she furiously hurled grated cheese onto her plate – “Dan, do you like cheese?” To my surprise, this went pretty much unnoticed. Excellent. We cracked on with the tour of our flat – I was keen to get this over and done with to be honest.
I spent the majority of, the valuation scampering back and forth into the kitchen from various rooms to encourage more eating, less throwing, break up an argument or three – standard shit.
This meant, that most of my dialog with Dan went a little like this:
“Yes, so that was the main bedroom, it’s slightly MARNIE STOP THROWING YOUR FOOD AND EAT IT, and so – it’s a little larger than the others”
“Is Dan going to watch Peppa Pig with us Mummy?”
“No, Elsie, no he’s not. Sorry Dan, where was I?”
“Yes, so, we have two areas of outside space, a courtyard and a little garden out from the…”
“Yes, Elsie?” (FOR FUCKSAKE)
“Marnie’s done a poo, I can really smell it”
I excuse myself. Change a nappy, and leave Dan in the capable conversational hands of Elsie.
“Right. Sorry, so – yes, the gardens – the garden comes just off the…”
“Mummyyyyyyyy” “YES, Elsie?”
“I need a poo”
Elsie sloped off to the toilet leaving Dan and I once again to pick up where we left off. By this point, Marnie had been let loose from the highchair and was casually residing beside Dan, invading every ounce of his personal space.
A short while later, Elsie appeared from the bathroom to announce, “Mummy I’ve finished my poo, it was my biggest yet – a bit spikey, please can you come and wipe my bottom?”
FML. Where do you go from there? Well, firstly the toilet to wipe her bum, and secondly the fridge. For an extra-large vino.
It was a seemingly lengthy hour of my life, I’m not gonna lie. Yet, throughout the spectacle, Dan remained as cool as a cucumber. He graciously batted off the unremitting attention from the girls, and managed to continue at full professional capacity as they emerged in an array of fancy dress attire to belt out another hit from Annie (Tomorrow? Anyone?) I imagine it was a little like attending a west end musical he never booked a ticket for.
Which, is why – when we were edging towards the finishing line of our flat valuation (thank fuck) I explained that I wrote a blog, and when possible I tried to capture the reality of motherhood – I felt this was a rather fitting experience, and would he therefore mind having a photo taken with the girls. He happily obliged. Little did Dan know. Little did we know.
Dan left, and normality resumed. With the girls in bed, Jamie home, I pegged it out of the door, ready to funnel a bottle of prosecco.


26 April 2017

Feature: Fashion with Carrie

4 Ways to Wear a Floral Dress 

Spring is in full bloom and the season of the new brings with it the perfect opportunity to add a floral dress to your wardrobe

This ultra-feminine print never goes out of style, which is a fashion bonus as there are so many ways to wear it.

Here are a few of my favourites.

For us Brits it’s important to be able to style out erratic changes in weather and the biker jacket offers an ideal solution. Not only that but pairing your floral dress with a tough, pleather piece will play down the prints sweetness and give that girl-next-door look a much-needed dose of edge.

You can update your look by layering under a sweatshirt for that sport luxe vibe or a chunky knit to make it look like a skirt. With this trick, you can choose to either dress down your graphic bouquets with a neutral top layer or go bold with clashing colours for that extra bit of springtime tsjuz!

It might not be quite warm enough to fly the floral's solo just yet but that’s where your go-to pair of jeans comes in Always wear with straight cut denim and a strappy heeled mule. Be sure to tuck the front portion of fabric in so as to not completely stump your stature. Throw on a cardie for that extra safety net during the changeable weather

Written by Carrie from Fashion Playground @fashion.playground

If you have an idea for a feature to be on Bad Mum weekly, fortnightly or monthly please just let me know!


Interview with Amanda, Founder of Gage Huntley!

As soon as I discovered Gage Huntley on Instagram (@shopgagehuntley) I knew I needed to speak to Amanda about her Fuck You jewellery and how she has made it happen. 

I could honestly spend a fortune on her website! After this interview please take a look and before you know it, you will be covered in bad Mama gold, too. 

Hi Amanda and thank you so much for taking time to answer some questions for Bad Mum magazine. As soon as I saw your website and Instagram account, I had to send you a message to appear on the website! I love your badass jewellery (which is so perfect for a Bad Mum!)

I absolutely love your attitude because Bad Mum represents the real bare face of parenting; not any pink fluffy bollocks. Have you always had such an unapologetic attitude towards life (which I love) and what is your outlook on life? When did you start Gage Huntley and what was the idea behind the brand (and name?)

I started Gage Huntley in 2012. After 10+ years in the real estate market I was DONE. I had my son Gage in 2010 and since his name is like the raddest name ever because I thought of it, well I named the company after him. 

This company started very different. It wasn't all foul mouthed in your face things. It was very pretty hand made beaded jewellery but lets be real, that's EVERYWHERE. I figured out that with social media being the way it was I could possible make an edgy line work.

How do you juggle running your business and being a Mama also? I bet you are a multi skilled ninja?

I'm totally a ninja. No, lets be honest. Some days there is a glass of wine in my hand at 2pm after dealing with customer emails and orders and regular daily chaos. I'm just a regular Mom trying to take over the world one swear word at a time. Its not easy. I probably lose hours a day I could be working because there's school, homework,'I'm hungry" every five seconds and when is dinner:; like, for real I know you need food kid you will get fed. I don't get much sleep I am constantly thinking about work. Stress level always at a high but I'm doing what I love so its just another day to me.

You have a fucking bad words collection…I seriously love you!! This ranges from zero fucks given to eat a dick (ha-ha!) Did you ever have any doubt that this range wouldn’t work? And, have you been surprised how popular it is?

That F*cks Collection. Ya that's a good one. In my daily life I'm not for everyone. People either take the time to talk and get to know me or they think I'm just a bitch, so its kind of like my "FUCK WHAT EVERYONE THINKS" to the world.

I'm honestly shocked on a daily basis that my customers come up with even more fowl sayings to put on cuffs. I mean, I found a real niche. Some people hate it. Well, I stamp custom pieces all day too if you aren't in to the lovely language I use.

What products did you start with just to test the waters and what was the reaction on social media?

I think one of the first cuffs I tested was "Fuck I love you". IT TOOK OFF. I actually pulled it off the site a year or so ago and brought it back just last month and it is doing amazing all over again.

Does Instagram play a big part in your business? I absolutely love Instagram and I think it is an amazing tool, especially for free! 

Instagram. Instagram is bread and butter. Do you know that I myself run that instagram, yes, its just me! No social media people. It took a long time to figure out the whole thing and get the right content but its pure magic.

Wow! Well done, that is really good going! 

Also, Instagram has been the reason behind some of the big named Mama’s out there and this very honest approach to parenting, that has proved to be very popular. What do you make of it all? 

As for the Instagram Mom's / parenting pages.... I am a very different Mom than most. If you want my two cents I will give you my two cents but I don't document my every day home life, my son, or my husband. Too much for me but more power to the women that do. That would be another full time job for me and I already need 5 of me and counting. 

For anyone reading this that has an idea, and is at home with the kids, what bit of golden advice could you give them on how to make that idea into a reality? 

Man, if I could tell any Mom out there anything. YOU CAN FUCKING DO IT. You can run a legitimate business, You can be your own team, If I can do it you can do it. Don't give up. I have failed with things so many times but you have to keep going.

If you haven’t already done enough, what is next on your To Do list and what else would you like to achieve?

The next on the to do list is expanding to more accessories, home decor etc. I have lots of things brewing.

Even now I don’t mention Bad Mum to some certain Mum’s I know, just because of the name! Not that I give a fuck but I can’t be bothered with explaining it all. What does your family and friends think of your success and the brand?

Well, I pretty much have a fuck it attitude to people that don't like what I do because weather you like it or not its feeding my family, clothing my family, keeping the roof over our heads. My husband quit his job and helps me out. We never imagined we would have a life like that. The haters can hate. Own it.

Lastly, everyone must leave us with a parenting confession that they have never told anyone before!? *do a shot if it helps* 

Parenting confession.... oh man this is just incriminating. I literally screamed at him recently, mind you he is 7 going on 21, If you do that again I am going to gut you like a fish with a dull spoon. I don't even know where that comment came from but it worked. I'm sure there are plenty more I am not thinking of! Ha!

Ha Ha that is brilliant! 

Thank you again and I wish you all the success in the future! I cannot wait to go shopping on your website and decorate my wrist with a lot of expletive language!  

For the full website please click here. 

Photos are credit to Amanda.

Interview by Sophie Farrow


25 April 2017

Feature: Word From the US!

The Dilemma of Health Coverage in the US

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if you couldn’t count on healthcare to be available to you whenever you needed it? To not be able to afford a visit to the doctor for a small issue, knowing full well that the issue isn’t going anywhere and is just going to get worse? Up until very recently in the US this was reality for many people. I grew up in England and France where we had access to free and universal healthcare (even though the system in France sometimes seemed a little convoluted). Everyone was on an equal level; you had your GP, your dentist, your optician if necessary. You had to wait for some tests, sometimes you couldn’t get a same day appointment, but at least you knew that you would be seen without being faced with thousands of dollars of medical bills that there was no way you could pay.

When I first moved to the US over a decade ago I worked for a company that provided health insurance. This really meant that every year or so they would negotiate with a new insurance and we would have to change our plans and premiums accordingly. I can’t even begin to explain how confusing the system was, you had to choose a network and a doctor, and depending on your choice, your bi-weekly premiums would be higher or lower. As a single woman blessed with very good health I always chose the lowest premium without really looking into the details. Things like co-pays, deductibles, covered and non-covered services went right over my head, and I just kept my fingers crossed that I wouldn’t have to actually go to the doctor. Every practice accepts a certain amount of insurances, and anyway, how do you choose one practice out of so many without even knowing anything about them? Why could I just not walk into a doctor’s office, make an appointment and be seen?

When I left that job I also lost my health insurance. This meant that if I ever fell ill, was in an accident, needed surgery or any other health-related service I would have to pay out of pocket. If you have a quick look at how much simple healthcare services cost you would be astonished… A simple trip to the ER for a broken bone or a rash can run into thousands of dollars. So what did people do? What do people still do? They wait until they are in so much pain and go to the ER, knowing full well that they cannot pay but cannot be turned away either. People end up with terrible credit due to unpaid medical bills. You know that whole thing about Americans having wonderful teeth? That’s just a TV myth, emphasised by the brilliant pearly white smiles you see on sitcoms. Most people can’t afford to go to the dentist until it’s too late, and then just get their teeth pulled because it’s cheaper that way.

 Credit to

In 2010 President Obama passed the Affordable Care Act (ACA, often dubbed “Obamacare”), which was a first step towards ensuring everyone in the US would have access to affordable healthcare. Instead of insurances being able to pick and choose who they covered based on all types of criteria (have a pre-existing condition? Your premium would be much higher than someone without one), you could shop around for an affordable premium based on your earnings. In addition to being available to everyone, nowadays if you refuse to sign up for an insurance plan you will be fined, and this fine is taken when you file your taxes. While the ACA has many flaws it was a first step towards allowing everyone to be covered without worrying about having to pay extortionate medical bills. The ACA has been implemented in steps over the past few years, and while it has hit some stumbling blocks, all-in-all it has been pretty successful.
Cancer doesn’t discriminate, neither do congenital heart defects nor diabetes. However, before the ACA was implemented those with more money were more apt to be seen by a doctor earlier. The ACA was a start to make healthcare available for everyone. Some people found that they were paying a lot more than they had been before, but most people I know were able to say that they had health coverage for the first time in their adult lives. Pretty incredible seeing as this country is supposedly the leader of the world in so many areas! The ACA is NOT universal healthcare, far from it, but it is a step in the right direction. I honestly have no idea if there will ever be some form of universal healthcare in this country, there are too many people who “don’t want to pay for other people”. If they actually thought about it they would pay the same towards universal healthcare in their taxes as they already do in private insurance premiums.

In 2013 I was a bartender and restaurant manager, and not eligible for employee-based health insurance (while the ACA is now pushing all employers to provide health insurance to their employees, it doesn’t affect smaller businesses or those employees who work less than 40 hours a week). As I was rarely ill I hadn’t yet signed up for affordable healthcare, and was just waiting to see if the kinks would be ironed out… But then I found out I was pregnant. Honestly, the first thoughts I had weren’t about how I was going to raise a child and could I be a mother, but about how on earth was I going to afford to have a baby! Luckily, the ACA also expanded the coverage of Medicaid, state-run healthcare that is available only to those who earn under a certain amount. I was lucky to be in a state that expanded their coverage and had a great plan for pregnant women, and I fell within their income requirements. I was covered from my first visit to my 6 week post-natal check up, received great care, and my kids were automatically covered too. I don’t know what I would have done without it, because I saw a couple of hospital bills, and if checking into the ER before being led up to Labour & Delivery cost $1,000 I can’t even imagine what my very simple, no meds, 20 minute birth cost. I can’t even begin to imagine what an emergency c-section after 40 hours of labour would look like!!

My eldest has a congenital heart defect that requires yearly specialist check-ups and possible surgery in the future. Without insurance we wouldn’t be able to pay for the very expensive work-ups they have to do every year. You see, while we are covered this year, there are no guarantees that we will be next year. One of Trump’s main deals before he was elected was to remove the ACA and replace it with his own vision of healthcare, one that basically sent this country back into the dark ages again. Well if you weren’t well off. Luckily he didn’t get enough votes to push it through this time, but who knows what will happen next time? Obama fought tooth and nail to get only a small part of his vision approved, and nothing says that it will stay forever. As I said before, the ACA is far from perfect, but it is better than whatever was there before.

I basically just scratched over the surface of healthcare in the US, it’s very complicated and confusing and I still have no idea what I am doing half the time. For those of you who sometimes throw your arms up in the air because your public health system isn’t always perfect and you have to wait a while for certain appointments, please do everything you can to help save it. Don’t abuse the system and use it as you need it, but please, appreciate how important universal healthcare actually is. Because when you live in a country where it doesn’t exist it really, really sucks.

Next time I will touch on the current political climate now that Trump has been in office for a few months, and our personal journey into getting our kids all of their citizenship's sorted. If you are interested in reading more about the ACA, you can check out the website here

Social Media:

Website, From the Inside:
Instagram: lunajadeX
Twitter: @jadeannahughes


24 April 2017

I’m Wrecked, This is My Journal and competition!

I’m Wrecked, This is My Journal – the birth story

Back in 2013 when I had my daughter, I wasn’t attracted to traditional baby record books – they seemed a little bit twee for me. I couldn’t see myself filling them in beyond the first page of pastel teddy bears and requests for ‘hopes and dreams for the future’. Instead I used a normal diary and each day (read: whenever I remembered) I would try to write a sentence about something that had happened. It ranged from memories of nice play dates (drinking cider in pub gardens) or milestones (poonami nightmares), to ‘everybody cried today’. Looking back on those sentences months later, it occurred to me that they reflected my own parenting experience as well as my daughter’s development, and that there wasn’t really a baby book that asked you to record those thoughts too.

As the birth of my second child approached in 2016 I noticed that milestone cards and social media now seemed to be the most common way of recording each step. I wanted to participate in that but I also didn’t want to scroll back through my photo feeds in years to come to remind myself of what happened when. In addition to how to record my parenting journey and baby’s first year, I recalled the endless hours spent shuffling through the same old websites on my phone in the middle of the night. Could I bear resorting to the Sidebar of Shame again? When I asked an older colleague what she’d done before smart phones she replied: ‘Stare at the wall.’ There had to be more entertaining ways to experience motherhood, surely? 

And so I developed the idea I’d had for a while – I’m Wrecked, This is My Journal. Each page would have a small task – either amusing or sentimental – that wasn’t too taxing for tired parents. You could record the date and a sentence about the day so there was no pressure to fill it in every day. Whether it was designing a label for parent gin, or thinking of five famous people you would want to raise your child – you’d be able to look back on your own rollercoaster journey of parenthood, as well as reminisce about first crawls and tiny footprints. And it would be easy to share completed pages on social media and compare responses with other parents, or keep it completely offline and private. 

It feels odd now the book has published that I can actually use the journal I dreamt of to record my son’s first year. I’m encouraging my husband to fill in some pages too, as it’s not about being a mum or giving birth – likewise if you’ve adopted a child or are a same-sex couple. Raising children is a universal experience but we each have a unique perspective. I can’t wait to see how people are using the book and know that, one day, both my son and I will have a special record that we can share. He may ask me why there are so many references to gin, mind you . . . And the answer is simple: I was wrecked.


To win a copy of this book go to the Bad Mum instagram page and tell us how you have been a wrecked mother before and why you need this book, under the competition post! Add the #ImWreckedBadMum.


Mama, the baby is stuck again!

What NOW, Owen?”
I’m not proud of that lament but I’m driven to it by noon on a good day. Considering I’ve been up since 3 a.m., that makes it happy hour in some time zones for those without children. So imagine my surprise when I discovered my baby stuck in the cat door. It’s now a daily occurrence. 
“Mama!! Owen is stuck again!” 

You might ask why he does such a thing. Oh, well, because our son is obsessed with our cat and whenever she’s had enough of his attention she escapes through the cat door of the baby gate. She eludes him and he tries to follow her. This obsession is not hyperbole, he gets her name right and not mine. He still calls me “da’h” like a sassy East Londoner. He has trouble with the “m” sound so he refuses to use any word that starts with the “em” sound but he’ll say “Simone”.

He clicks and clucks his tongue to call her, motions by clapping one hand, and chucks his head to the side saying, “C’mon!” She, astonishingly enough, listens and comes when he calls. It amazes me still to watch them together. I was jealous of Simone, at one point, because she received more affection from him than myself.
Owen mimics the affection she gives and greets her by rubbing his head against her, licks her face, and hugs her. He wakes looking for all of us but especially Simone. Ducking under the table crying out with a meow or making kissing sounds to coax her. He jams himself into the cat door in protest of her rejection.
I sigh, pull him out, console him because he can’t fit through the cat door to follow her, mentally add the issue to his list of “quirks” for reference, and explain that “Simone needs to potty”. We hug and I rock him as his tears subside and I hide my smile. Nothing as comical as watching our pampered cat’s mudflap thighs slapping together as she oozes through the cat door to escape the amour of Owen. Maybe we should dress him as Pepé Le Pew next Halloween. I laugh to myself and he scowls at me. 
“Sorry, O.” He pouts and stomps away. I hear him mutter with his back to me, “P’ine.” (His version of “fine”.) Nora follows him and he dramatically fends off her embrace.
“NO want!”
It hurts her feelings and I then console her. I nudge her and whisper, 
“Hey, should we shake the treat bag and get Simone back up here?”
Written by Barbara @kelsokidspooflingerpaparazzi

Feature: Insta Shop

This week on the Bad Mum Insta shop feature we have the fabulous Harper & Carter

Introducing Chloe Wiltshire the young mum turned business women....


My name is Chloe, I am 20 years old from a little village near Saffron Walden, Essex. I am based at home, in my front room, so that I can keep an eye on my son, Carter, who is 17 months now. 

I started up shop at 27 weeks pregnant, July 2015, and I started off by making and selling simple items from cotton like bloomers, shorts and dresses. 

The name Harper and Carter was made using our 2 favourite names while I was pregnant. We didn't know what gender baby was, so these were our 2 chosen names. 

The inspiration behind what I do is that I always wanted to be able to make baby clothes, and when I was pregnant it just motivated me into doing it while I was on maternity leave, so that I could make some unique clothes for my baby! 

Harper and Carter has grown more than I could imagine in the short time its been open, and I have obviously become a lot more experienced with my sewing skills. 

I draw up my own patterns (templates) and come up with my own designs to try to differ from other small businesses.  

Right now, I make a whole variety of products ranging from shorts to tees and leggings and reversible jackets. My favourite item to make are my rompers! 

I have around 13 different style rompers, so there's something for everyone! 

I often get asked for custom orders which I usually always honour. This can be just a specific change to the product which the customer wants or even a name or personalisation added. This is one of my latest ventures and I hope to expand with the personalised designs. 

I also have a Facebook page and a group for little behind the scenes and a website which is linked on both of my social media pages. I sometimes also take my products to a local play group. 

I have recently my ss17 range, and some new designs for custom tees and rompers exclusive to H&C. These are exclusive to me because I made them myself using photoshop.

Instagram is where H&C started and has grown on there. At times instagram is a bit of a minefield and you have to be a bit careful but most of the time you have a whole load of support and it's amazing when you get so many comments on your posts saying they love it. It makes it all worth it. 

I have made a few really good friends from having my little business and they're super supportive and are now both my permanent reps too!

The best thing about having a small business is that I can stay at home and watch my son grow up, it allows me to choose my own hours and if I need a break I can take one, but most of all its the satisfaction of seeing happy customers photos and their comments on my products. 

The only negatives I would say are that, it can either be really busy or really quiet. When it does go quiet it feels a little strange and I feel a bit lost. The other downfall is when you get a rude or moody customer or someone who is accusing you of 'copying' when you know you have not. 

It's currently my only job. I used to work in a school as a midday assistant and at an after school and holiday club too, while babysitting on the side!

Keep your eyes peeled for exciting future plans.

Do check out my latest Collaboration with Dye me beautiful for tie dyed items.

Chloe x

Thanks Chloe for a wonderful insight into life behind H&C. Wish you all the best for the future.

If you know any shops that would like to feature please contact

You can find Chloe at @harperandcarterdesigns and for the full website click here.


22 April 2017

Stop Rushing Mothers!

Hi everyone,

This is something I've wanted to address for a while  I just didn't know I should approach the subject so here goes. Too often these days, western women are rushed into a routine of motherhood that confirms to societal norms. I don't want to sound like I'm writing a psychology essay, but honestly it needs to stop its soooo jarring.

Since having my son I've made a conscious decision to be as gentle as I can with myself and not force either of us into rushing anything. When he was born he slept (or didn't) in his Chicco next2me, he was awake at least every hour for a feed and he just did not have a settled night in there, although it worked really well for his daytime naps. From around 8-12 weeks he began sleeping in my bed. Almost instantly he slept so much better, of course he would, I'd carried him for 9 months it made perfect sense that he would sleep better with me where he felt safe and comfortable. Im sure we have all heard awful stories when people warn you of the dangers of co-sleeping and when my son was born he was just so tiny I couldn't imagine him in my huge bed, but once he got a little older it worked perfectly for us and he now sleeps around 12 hours a night.

I use this extra wide bed rail from Safetots on his side of the bed to stop him falling out. It happened once while I was getting ready and I felt like the worst mum ever, but the bed rail is great and puts my mind at ease, its also mesh so its completely breathable

Then came the rush of everyone telling me I'd better get him in his cot because I'd struggle getting him out of my bed in the future (again, he does sleep well in here for his daytime naps). I like sleeping with my baby, I think I get just as much (if not more) comfort from sleeping beside him as he does me. I still breastfeed and my son has around 2 feeds in the night. If he was in his cot, I would have to wait until I heard him cry, go into his bedroom, take him out of his cot and feed him, then try to settle him back to sleep. Why would I want all that agg? Its soo easy feeding with him next to me and doesn't disturb either of our sleep.

Whilst we're on the subject of breastfeeding, this is another thing I feel that mothers are rushed into stopping prematurely. I am going to do an updated breastfeeding timeline on my personal experience (Read my last one here) but as I've mentioned, I am still breastfeeding my son. He's 7 and a half months and I'm constantly asked when I'm "gonna stop". Firstly, why are you bothered??? Secondly, as with every other question, the answer is: when we're ready. It works well for us, and as for all of the articles/research suggesting breastfed babies have attachment issues and are slower at developing, my son is very independent and can already sit, crawl, wave, roll and stand... just saying.

Not breastfeeding would obviously make it easier for me to go to work full time, leave him with someone else for a few hours, let him sleep out, spend a lot of time in public places, go on nights out etc. We've been taught that all of these things are normal and expected of mothers, even when their babies are young. Every mum deserves a break but when you decided to have your baby you signed up to being a mum and so doing these normal things are not going to be as easy as they once were. I'd just like to make a point here that this isn't at all intended to be a dig at women who decide/feel they have no option but to formula feed for health/personal reasons, I'm simply trying to highlight that we as mothers are expected to do as everyone else is doing when in actual fact we have a little baby to raise and thats more important than anything no matter how we feed them!

Getting back to work. Most women have their baby and go on maternity leave, meaning they usually have a job to return to before their babies first birthday. Some are able to stay at home and raise their children, some are self employed or under financial constraints and have to go back to work right away. Neither are any less worthy. So why are women who go back to work soon after their baby is born frowned upon for not spending every hour of the day with their children, yet those who stay at home with their children are frowned upon for not getting up and going to work?! You cant win.

I'd be naive to think that some women have no other option but to adopt these routines to fit in around their work life/other children and I'm sure I'll have more insight into this in the future. There is no right or wrong way in motherhood. If you and your baby sleep comfortably in separate beds then thats great, more room for you. If they take a bottle really well meaning you can go out to work and keep a roof over their head then thats also great, mums are great, we should all come together and show everybody how great we are and politely ask them to stop with their uninvited opinions on what we should and shouldn't be doing with our children.

Written by Ruby from @ruby_natalia

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